Thursday, December 23, 2010

England: Ten more deaths linked to flu in a week

Ten more people have died in the last week after contracting flu bringing the total this winter to 27, it has been revealed.

The H1N1 swine flu strain is responsible for the majority of the deaths as cases of influenza continue to rise.

It is feared cases of flu and deaths are accelerating as the flu season takes hold.

The number of people seeing their GP with flu symptoms has increased six fold in the last three weeks.

H1N1 is the predominant strain circulating this winter and is following a similar pattern as during the pandemic when it struck young age groups hardest and caused some severe illness.

Officials do not believe there will be another significant wave of flu as seen during the pandemic but it was expected that H1N1 would become a circulating seasonal flu for this winter and in coming years.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Open your minds this Holiday Season

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
— Mark Twain

Season's greetings and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones. Humans have far more in common with one another than they do differences. May this holiday season be filled with joy, laughter and acceptance of those around you and around the world. 


Passport Health Team

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vaccinating pregnant women reduced newborn influenza hospitalizations

Influenza vaccine administered during pregnancy was 91.5% effective in preventing hospitalizations among infant offspring younger than 6 months, new research shows.

Marietta Vázquez, MD, and colleagues from the Yale University School of Medicine conducted a matched case-control study to determine whether vaccinating expecting mothers really is an effective strategy to protect infants too young to be vaccinated. The results were published in the Dec. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Disease.

The researchers found that only 2.2% of mothers (n=91) whose children had laboratory-confirmed influenza during the study period (2000-2009) received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy vs. 19.9% of mothers (n=158) whose children did not get sick with virus.

“These results have great clinical relevance, because they provide a strategy to confer protection to young infants at high risk for the disease and for whom no vaccine is currently available,” the researchers wrote.

They added that it might also motivate pregnant women, who are susceptible to severe forms of the disease, to comply with current vaccine recommendations.

Both the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated, but uptake rates remain poor and administration varies widely across health care providers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

So...Did you get your flu shot?

Last week was a busy week for us here at Passport Health.  It was National Influenza Vaccination Week and everyone who is 6 months of age and older is recommended to get the flu vaccine!  SO, if you are reading this (and you don't have any medical reasons for not getting it) YOU should have been vaccinated!!

Even the President is urging vaccination, cause no one wants a repeat of last years awful Flu season.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Employee Health Day

On this day of National Influenza Vaccination Week there is a focus on Employee Health!

Imagine a small office of 20-25 people running a business.  In a small environment with people all working closely together, if one person gets sick, eventually EVERYONE gets sick.  If 1 person in your office were to catch the Flu and spread it to others in your office, the result could be detrimental to your business.  Think about the loss in productivity if several employees are out sick!

Don't risk it!
Get Vaccinated and encourage your staff and co-workers to get vaccinated too.  Save time and money and a lot of tissues!

Call Passport Health to schedule a flu clinic or set up an appointment for your Flu shot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chronic Condition? Better get your Flu shot!

Tuesday December 7th, the third official day of National Influenza Vaccination Week is here and the focus today is on those with chronic conditions. If you have:

Heart Disease
Asthma, Bronchitis or other upper respiratory diseases
or if you are overweight and/or a smoker

Today is your day!!  If you catch the Flu, it could be your life.  Because of your chronic condition(s) you are already at a disadvantage for fighting the Flu.  Why take chances?  It's so easy to get a Flu shot and save yourself from the virus.

Contact Passport Health and inquire about an appointment for a flu vaccination.  While you are there, talk to your health care provider about a Pneumonia shot as well. 

Check out Dr. David Hill (love the bowtie) explaining a bit about the Influenza Virus and how the strains can mutate each year.

What Is Influenza? -- powered by

Monday, December 6, 2010

National Influenza Vaccination Week

Today kicks off the second day of National Influenza Vaccination Week.  Each day this week focuses on a different group that is recommended for immunization.  Today's emphasis is on Family Vaccination!

Come in or call Passport Health for your Flu vaccination today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 tips to keep your Little Ones Healthy During the Holidays

Holiday family get-togethers can be hazardous for your children’s health and safety.
The same events that make the season fun and festive for kids – visiting family, lighting candles, and receiving toys, for example, can cause mishaps. Fortunately, most such problems are preventable – but only with forethought.

Here is what you should know:

1. Vaccinate infants and young children for influenza.
Family gatherings tend to bring together people of all ages and from different communities and place them in close contact with each other, with much hugging and kissing, all ideal for spreading flu-type viruses.This year the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the flu.

2. Leave children home when they are sick.
If your child is already sick with a respiratory infection, the best gift you can give your friends and family is to keep your child at home. Assume that children with bad coughs and runny noses are contagious to others.  Children with respiratory infections need not be kept indoors. Fresh air is fine.

3. Carry your children’s medications and the telephone numbers of their health care providers.
Illness knows no holiday. Medications may be difficult to obtain on holidays.

4. Scan houses for hazards when you go visiting.
The incidence of accidents and poisonings tends to increase when visiting other homes, especially during the holidays. Mistletoe and holly berries cause intestinal upsets when ingested. Many Christmas tree ornaments are fragile and break easily, and the pieces can be ingested, causing cuts in the mouth. The hooks that suspend tree ornaments have also been responsible for cuts.

5. Appoint a designated “toddler watcher.”
Everyone wants to hold and play with infants and young children. But when “everyone” watches them, often no one is actually in charge, and toddlers may wander off. When you are not overseeing your child yourself, make sure that someone responsible is, and that they personally return the child to you.

6. Never leave small children unattended near candles.
Many festive observances involve candles. Candles fascinate children. Candles cause more than 11,000 fires each year, a disproportionate number of them around holiday time, and 1200 injuries and 150 deaths annually, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Place candles in safe places and where children can’t reach them.

7. Check toys given to your children.
Well-meaning friends and relatives often bring toys that are age-inappropriate with sharp edges or small pieces that can easily break off. Other toys may have been brought from overseas and bypassed safety inspections or may be old and were made before regulations existed.

8. Dress children in warm clothing even for short car rides.
Yes, you are just going from one house to another in a heated car. But cars can break down or end up in snow banks on lonely roads. Children become hypothermic very rapidly.

9. Know your child’s tolerance for socializing.
Some young children love being the center of attention and thrive on being passed from adult to adult. Others do not enjoy it – and become irritable and then irritating to others. For these children, a period alone with you in another room enjoying a quiet activity will make everyone feel better.

10. Discard prepared food left standing at room temperature for 2 hours.
Hosts of holiday meals are often inexperienced at preparing and serving food for large groups, occasionally resulting in food poisoning, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Buffets are especially popular at holiday time, with people coming and going. Young children and the elderly tend to have more severe cases of food poisoning.

Thanks to for the info for this post.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did you get your flu shot yet?

NEW CDC GUIDELINES:  The Flu Shot is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months.

This year's vaccine combines 2 seasonal flu strains and the H1N1 strain.

In general, the Influenza vaccine is recommended for:

  • Anyone who is at risk of complications from Influenza or more likely to require medical care
  • Anyone who lives with or cares for people at high risk for Influenza related complications
  • People who provide essential community services.
  • People living in dormitories or under other crowded conditions, to prevent outbreaks
  • People at high risk of Influenza complications who travel to the Southern hemisphere between April and September or to the tropics or in organized tourist groups at any time
  • Anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with Influenza or spreading Influenza to others. 

    Plan to get the Influenza vaccine in October or November if you can. Getting vaccinated in December, or even later, will still be beneficial in most years. You can get the vaccine as soon as it is available, and for as long as illness is occurring. In the northern hemisphere, Influenza illness can occur any time from November through May. Most cases usually occur in January or February. Most people need one dose of Influenza vaccine each year.

    Children younger than 9 years of age getting Influenza vaccine for the first time should get 2 doses. For inactivated vaccine, these doses should be given at least 4 weeks apart. Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including Pneumococcal vaccine.

    Have more Influenza questions?  Ask them in the comment section below or contact your nearest Passport Health location

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Flu Season is HERE!!

    Though its not the scare and panic we remember from last year's H1N1 and the seasonal flu shot shortage, this year's flu season is in full swing and its no joke.  There have been 10 cases reported already in Alberta, Canada and 3 out of those 10 are at the same  long-term care home in southern Alberta.

    Even though Flu Season has begun it is not too late to get vaccinated.  Now is the time to come in for your vaccine, especially if you are in one of the high risk groups. 

    The H1N1 strain that kept everyone on their toes last year will be included in the seasonal shot this year, so you only need to get one shot this year.  Great news huh?

    Have other questions about the Flu?

    Ask me below.

    An example of a question you may have could be:

    Where is a convenient place located that I can get my shot and be out the door asap?

    My answer: Passport Health.  We have 170 offices throughout the US.  We are friendly and getting the shot is as easy as signing a form.  If you are not a fan of shots then ask about FluMist.  Same protection as the shot, but it gets squirted up your nose instead! (ok so a shot in the arm or a squirt up the nose- neither sound pleasant, but it sure beats 3 weeks in bed with fever and chills and entire body aches!)  Its over so quickly you wont even have time to cry!

    Get your flu shot... you know its the right thing to do. 

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Egg Allergy No Longer a Reason to Avoid Getting a Flu Vaccine

    Along with fall comes flu season, but having an egg allergy is not a reason to avoid getting the 2010-2011 flu vaccination. According to a new paper published on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma Immunology (AAAAI) website, recent studies show that most egg allergic individuals can receive the flu vaccine safely under the care of their allergist/immunologist.

    "In the past, persons with egg allergy were told not to get the influenza vaccine because the vaccine contained egg protein and could trigger an allergic reaction. Research in the past year now shows that influenza vaccines contain only tiny amounts of egg protein. Clinical studies proved that the vast majority of persons with egg allergy did not experience a reaction when immunized with the influenza vaccine," said co-author of the paper James T. Li, MD, PhD, FAAAAI.
    Based on the examined research, the authors no longer recommend the practice of skin testing to the seasonal Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV), although it may be useful as an extra level of caution in cases where the patient has a documented history of a past allergic reaction to the vaccine.

    Anyone with a history of suspected egg allergy should first be evaluated by an allergist/immunologist for appropriate testing and diagnosis. Patients with a confirmed egg allergy can then receive the vaccine safely using one of two protocols: as a 2-step graded challenge or as a single, age-appropriate dose.

    "It is not necessary to withhold influenza vaccination from egg allergic patients. Our recommendations provide two flexible approaches to vaccination. Each approach is backed with recent evidence that it is safe," according to co-author Matthew J. Greenhawt, MD, MBA. "Most allergists should be able to identify with one of our recommended approaches, and as such should be able to vaccinate their egg allergic patients with confidence."

    The authors do note that the safety of these vaccines in individuals with severe egg allergy needs to be studied further.

    Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

    Article URL:

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Dual Flu and Pneumococcal Vaccination May Protect Seniors from Cardiovascular Events

    Did you know that many people who get the flu, don't die from the flu? They die from secondary diseases that sneak up on them when their immune system is down.  One such disease is Pneumonia.  There is a very large risk of developing Pneumonia as a complication from the flu. 

    Older individuals receiving both the 23-valent pneumococcal and influenza vaccines were 35% less likely to die than unvaccinated seniors, according to recent study results.

    WHO recommends 23-valent pneumococcal (PPV) and influenza vaccination for older individuals.

    If you have questions about the Flu or pneumonia or are interested in getting vaccinated, give us a call at Passport Health.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    You better listen to your Mama!


    No one plans to get the flu! 

    Mama is right. Thousands get sick or die from the flu every year. The best way to avoid getting the flu is by getting vaccinated every year!

    Passport Health can come on site to vaccinate you and your co-workers or you can give us a call (1-888-499-7277) and come in to any of our 170 locations!  How's that for convenient?

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Thank You for a great event!

    Most of us here are exhausted but still running on a high from the great success of Tuesday night's Rethink Africa event.  I cant wait to see the photos from the lovely Joy Reinhardt, a talented photographer who willingly donated her services for the evening.

    The evening went by so quickly that it still feels like a dream. The Musicians from Tonal Concepts, the Dancers from Flair Dance Studio and the Singers from Morgan State University performed "Africa" beautifully and without mistake.

    The food served by Santoni's, Geckos and Cooking with Catherine was all delicious and well-presented.  Both the Stella Artois and the fine selection of African wines served by the wonderful bartenders at Martooni's Bartending Services were kept at the appropriate temperature for maximum taste.

    More info to come about the other excellent sponsors and vendors without which this event would not have been successful.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    My Bad- But its GOOD!!

    Ok, so I have been slacking on the blog posts recently.  I'm Sorry.  I have a really good reason that I should have been sharing with you all along.

    Most of my time and effort (and much of my colleagues' time and effort as well) has been spent these past few months on an out-of-the-box charity event entitled Rethink Africa.

    This gathering will be an event with a focus on Africa to shift the paradigm of thinking that Africa is about malaria, civil war and only elephants and lions. We will expose business leaders to economic development opportunities in the continent and showcase how a vacation in Africa can be breathtaking if you prepare properly and have a reputable company organizing your trip.

    To that extent, we want you to see that the beaches in Nigeria, The Gambia, Senegal, Togo and Benin are as beautiful as many of the best beaches in the world; and that a honeymoon in Africa might be more affordable and even more exciting than a getaway to Paris or Rome. We want people to rethink what they know about Africa.

    So check it out.  If you are interested and in the Baltimore area on October 12th, please attend.  Its going to be a great time filled with business leaders, African music and dancing, great wine and delicious food.

    One last thing... All proceeds are being split between 2 non-profit organizations: the There Goes My Hero Foundation and the Ben Carson Scholars Fund.  2 VERY necessary causes and all donations are tax deductible.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Brazil: FOOD!!


    You know how we love to post about food!  On your Brazilian vacation, be sure to try some of these dishes.  Brazil is well known for its exotic  and flavorful cuisine.

    Feijoada is a popular Brazilian stew, made of black beans and pork.  It is Brazil’s national dish, and served at almost any restaurant.  Feijoada is also often served with oranges to aid digestion.

    Grilled meat, or most commonly grilled steak served in South America.  A Churrascaria is a steak house serving Churrasco, where waiters often come around with skewers, and slice the meat directly onto your plate. 

    Bobó de camarão
    Bobó de camarão is A Brazilian recipe made of shrimp, coconut milk, manioc cream, garlic and onion.  It is very popular, and served in many restaurants.  Be sure to try this dish on your Brazilian adventure, as Brazil has great seafood selections. 

    Pizza is in fact a very popular dish and Brazil, and familiar for all of those finicky eaters.  Soon after WWII many Italian immigrants fled to Argentina and Brazil, creating an Italian influence on Brazilian cuisine.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Waterfalls of Brazil

    Take a look at at the breathtaking falls of Brazil.

    Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls (Portuguese: Cataratas do Iguaçu [kataˈɾatɐz du iɡwaˈsu]; Spanish: Cataratas del Iguazú [kataˈɾataz ðel iɣwaˈsu]) are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.

    Below you can see what the falls look like from above.  Pretty amazing if you ask me!

    Ahhh, Beautiful Brazil... Ready to go?

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Beautiful Brazil

    If you were not convinced before, that Brazil is a beautiful place to visit, then just sit back and let Frank persuade you to start planning your trip.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Brazil- Ya gotta know when to go!

    Since Brazil is such an enormous country it varies in climate, with 5 different climate zones. Although 90% of the country is within the tropical climate zone, more than 60 percent of the population lives in one of the other four regions: equatorial, semi arid, highland tropical, and subtropical. Since Brazil is in the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are opposite from the Northern Hemisphere's seasons. Generally in Brazil's summer time, temperatures are never above 29C (85F), making Brazil a good year-round destination.

    If you happen to travel to the Amazon, It is important to be mindful of the Rainy season. Beginning in mid-October and lasting until March, northern Brazil experiences daily showers. Some advantages of avoiding the rainy season means dealing with less mosquitoes, more pleasant hikes or other outdoor activities, and river life sighting. Advantages of traveling during the rainy season however mean Amazon tours will be cooler, and it will be easier to spot wildlife and pretty plants like acacias (pictured below).

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Country of the Month: BRAZIL!!

    We are very excited to introduce our featured country for the month of September: BRAZIL!!

    Stay tuned for some great travel info, beautiful photos and of course the food!

    See you soon!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Animals of Laos

    Lao rainforests are home to several different exotic animal found uniquely to Southeast Asia. On your trip to Laos, be on the look out for these cute creatures!

    The Red Panda

    The Asian Golden Cat

    Asian Leopard Cat

    Indo- Chinese Tiger

    Several of the beautiful animals native to Laos are endangered. The tigers in particular, are at a high risk of becoming extinct, due to a high demand of tiger bones and organs for traditional Chinese medicines. Learn more about the endangered species in Laos.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Laos- Ancient Ruins

    Laos has a lot to offer in terms of history and culture. Scattered throughout the country are ancient Khmer ruins dating back to as early as the fifth century.

    Check out the Phu Ruins, Champassak, Laos

    The main Sanctuary of the ancient Khmer temple of Wat Phu

    This temple is believed to represent a small scale version of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Temples like these are meant to represent the universe, and are very sacred to ancient Laos. Originally, this temple was intended to be a Hindu shrine, but was later transformed into a Buddhist shrine.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Laos- Tourism Prospects

    Tourism Prospects for Champassak province, Laos!

    Champassak province in Laos is reaming with possibility for growth in Tourism. Anticipation of about 15 percent growth is expected after they host the Mekong Tourism Forum (may 2011). The event will lend great exposure to the idle region that has little tourism from the western world and is made up of people from neighboring regions. There is opportunity in Champassak; take a preliminary tour!


    (promoting eco-agriculture tourism)

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Restaurant suggestions in Laos

    Lao Food
    Food is an essential part of culture in Laos. On your trip, why not stop in one of these fantastic restaurants, and have a savory meal for less than $2!

    Tamnak Lao Restaurant

    This Lao restaurant is popular among locals and tourists. Tamnak features many traditional Lao dishes like Mokepha, which is steamed fish in banana leaves mixed with onion, garlic, pepper and coconut milk. Also be sure to try another favorite which is Lap Chicken: fried minced-chicken with spring onion, lemon grass, coriander, red chili, fresh lime juice and hard-sticky rice fried brown.

    L’Opera Italian Restaurant

    This trendy restaurant was the first Italian Restaurant to open in the Lao capital in 1992. The food served has a mix of Roman and Sicilian flare. Be sure to try either the Pan-fried Escallops with sea Scallops or the Spaghetti al Nero.

    The Spirit House

    The Spirit House is located on the banks of the Mekong River. Its beer garden offers a great location for a cold beer while watching the sunset over the river. The food served is a variety of western, Lao, Japanese and Thai cuisine. Also, the Spirit house serves the best cocktail bar in town, where you can enjoy a great night out with fabulous martinis. The Spirit house also has a 100 inch screen TV, where you can watch all the main sporting events from around the world.

    Laos Youth Football World Cup Status

    Well Perhaps Laos doesn’t have an adult soccer team
    to go compete in the World Cup.
    Don’t close your eyes on the youth action!
    Here is some footage of the Laos Youth Football team
    from Phonsavanh taking on the competition
    at the World Youth Cup 2010 in Gothenburg Sweden.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Great Sites in Laos

    Since Laos is Passport Health’s country of the month, we have decided to show you some great sites to see on your trip through Laos.

    Visit the capital, Vientiane!

    This interesting city is the capital of Laos, with a compelling history dating back to French Colonial Times. Be sure to check out Vientiane’s fascinating Buddhist monestaries like Wat Sisaket, and markets where you can find great Eastern goods, like the Morning Market. You’ll be surprised at how this bustling city has maintained its traditional village life.

    Go on a once in a life time cycling trip through Laos!

    Laos has some incredibly beautiful terrain, with rolling hills and fascinating little villages. So if you’re an athlete or an adventure traveler, why not take a bicycle tour through the beautiful country? Companies like Backroads Travel offer reasonable tours.

    Ride an Elephant!

    Laos, known as “land of a million elephants” is slowly losing its elephant population. Luckily, organizations like Tiger Trail have created ecotourism in Laos, where these animals can find refuge. On your trip to Laos head to the Elephant Park, located in Luang Phabang to ride an elephant.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Traveling safely in Mexico

    Mexico is a popular tourist destination among Americans, and is a relatively affordable and convenient destination to visit. While most travelers never experience problems while visiting the country, it is important to take some precautions when visiting Mexico.

    • First and foremost, research your destination before your trip. In light of the recent tensions between the drug cartels, it is important to make sure the areas to which you are traveling are deemed safe. Certain areas with high volume of drug related crime should be avoided.

    • Before traveling to your destination make sure to make at least two copies of your passport and travel documents. One to leave with a friend or family member staying in the United States, and one to bring with you in case your passport is lost or stolen. Also be sure to take your bank or credit card Company’s international telephone number along, should your card be lost or stolen. Before leaving the United States, make sure you inform your credit card company or bank that you are traveling abroad, or chances are they may temporarily deactivate your cards as a security precaution.

    • While in Mexico it is important to try to blend in, or at least to not have the appearance of the stereotypical American tourist, with the baseball cap and white sneakers, as this type of appearance draws attention to thieves and pick-pocketers. Also, it is important to avoid using ATMs in deserted locations or at night. Remember to put withdrawn money away immediately.

    • For women: It is especially important to be mindful of travel safety. It is a good idea to wear a purse with a long strap that drapes over the shoulder and diagonally across the body and zips. This type of purse stays close to the body, and makes it difficult for pick-pocketers to break into. Also, it is important to always ignore cat calls from local men. Even negative responses are perceived as an invitation to continue and possibly advance further. One helpful phrase you can use against harassing men is “estoy esperando a mi esposo,” which means I am waiting for my husband.

    • Always act as if you know where you’re going and never stand on the streets looking at maps and guide books appearing lost. And remember, trust your instincts. If they tell you venturing to a certain place is a bad idea, it probably is.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Mexican Cuisine

    Because it is so close to lunchtime I just HAD to post about some delicious Mexican food.Real Mexican food is quite unlike the dishes found in most Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in other countries. In tourist areas you’ll find restaurants with familiar names and gringo menus, though the offerings will often be over-priced and not of a high standard.

    You need to check out the REAL DEAL in Mexico. 

    Let's get the icky part out of the way first...The sanitation codes and measures in Mexico are not the same as what you may be used to in the US or other countries, so please keep that in mind.  As always, with trying new food and being in a new environment your immune system may be overwhelmed with all sorts of new bacteria to digest and thus you are more apt to get sick from eating abroad than from eating at home.  Be smart about it, get your Hep A and Typhoid vaccinations (and any others that the Travel Medicine Specialist thinks are necessary) and bring along some anti-diarrhea meds and some rehydrations salts and you should have all your bases covered.  NOW let's eat!!!

    There are several different preparations and types of ceviche.  It is safer to eat ceviche from an upscale restaurant as opposed to a street vendor who may not have the proper equipment to keep it at the proper temperature.

    Chicken with Mole Sauce-
    A wonderful rich sauce made with the unlikely combination of chocolate, chilies and many spices. It can be red or green depending on the ingredients and the moles of Puebla and Oaxaca are particularly famous, hence ‘mole poblano’ or ‘mole oaxaqeño’. The sauce is often served over chicken, though turkey is more traditional.
    Cornmeal paste wrapped in corn or banana husks and often stuffed with chicken, pork or turkey and/or vegetables, then steamed.  Pop open a Modelo, Dos Equis, or any number of Mexican beers if you are a fan.  It will go great with all these foods!

    Buen provecho!

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Mexican Fiestas!

    One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing your destination’s local culture. Mexico in particular, has a diverse culture and many holidays that may differ from yours. Mexicans love to honor their holidays with elaborate celebrations and fiestas. On your next Mexican vacation, try to head to the nearest city to celebrate these holidays with the locals.

    Dia de los muertos (day of the dead) Oct. 31st-Nov. 2nd.

    Dia de los muertos is a Mexican holiday stemming from ancient Aztec times, intended to celebrate deceased loved ones. Tradition says that the spirits come back and visit their families on October 31st, and depart again November 2nd. This fiesta embraces death, but mocks in a fun way with its smiling skulls and dancing skeletons. Mexicans create altars filled with sugar candy skulls and skeletons, along with candles and marigolds to honor the dead. The best parts are the elaborate feasting, costumes, and dancing in the streets.

    Dia de la Independencia- September 16th

    Dia de la Independencia is another great fiesta to attend on your Mexican vacation. September 16th celebrates the day that Mexico was free from Spain. In the streets, hundreds of food stands are set up to serve antojitos, or finger foods. Mariachi bands play music, and people gather in the zocalos, or main plazas to watch a re-enactment of when Hidalgo rang his church bell, calling every Mexican to fight for liberty from the Spanish rule.